Monday, September 19, 2016

Sweet Heat Pepper Jelly - Toast Topper #74

With work starting up again, I've been spending less time in the garden than usual this year. When I do get out there before dark (usually weekends only), the scraggly plot of various edible vegetation is full of surprises - this weekend alone, I discovered that cape gooseberries had long since edged out one of my tomato plants and had likely been growing all Summer (granted, the stems and blossoms do look rather tomato-like, it was only when the physalises started appearing that I started to wonder) and that I had quite the bounty of large beets on my hands. One of the other joys I discovered in with all my tomato, nasturtium and herb foliage was that my chili pepper plants (that I had long assumed killed by the vole invasion) had come back - full force. While most of the fruits are not ready to pick just yet, I did manage to snag a few Scotch Bonnets, a half-red Tabasco and a whole whack of my new fave: monkeyface peppers. I had forgotten that in the mix of peppers I set out all those months ago I had also planted Ring of Fire and scorpion chilis - ay carumba!

Sweet Heat Pepper Jelly

Luckily, I don't have to think about those just yet. I had always wanted to make a pepper jelly with my homegrown beauties, especially since the Tabasco and Scotch Bonnets have a decent, fruity flavour to them in addition to searing heat. A simmer in apple juice draws out the acidic, slightly bitter notes and makes them disappear, and by using Pomona’s Pectin I was able to use just enough sugar to call the works a "jelly" while preventing the batch turning into hellfire candy. 

A dollop of this on cream cheese-spread crackers (or toasted Dark Molasses Bread) is nothing short of delicious - there's a definite "kick" that sneaks up from behind but doesn't leave your tastebuds mangled beyond repair. It's also fantastic as a glaze for salmon, chicken, pork or even cornbread! 

Do you like pepper jelly? How do you savour it?

Shared with Gluten Free Fridays

Sweet Heat Pepper Jelly
Makes ~ 2 ¼ cups, 18 (2 tbsp) servings
2 cups unsweetened apple juice
1 Scotch Bonnet (or habanero), seeded and minced
1 Tabasco chili, minced
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp calcium water (in the Pomona's Pectin box)
2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp Pomona's Pectin
  1. Combine apple juice and minced peppers in a pot. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
  2. Add the lemon juice and calcium water to the pot and bring to a boil.
  3. Whisk together the sugar and pectin and add to the boiling mixture, stirring well.
  4. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  5. Process 10 minutes in a waterbath or store in the fridge up to 1 month.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 40.3
Total Fat: 0.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 1.3 mg
Total Carbs: 10.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.1 g
Protein: 0.1 g